Smart Lab, a Tanzania-based innovation lab and accelerator, is linking startups within the country with corporate partners to create synergy that will drive solutions to the challenges facing the local communities.
The acceleration and innovation hub, has several programs for startups and learning institutions that are designed to drive innovative solutions. Smart Lab take up the case for the most promising startups and matches them with the best funders they can find in their network.
“Every year we have a lot of university students that are required to create a project, and some create a prototype before graduating. The projects are then abandoned at universities without any proper plan to develop them further,” said Juliana Kayombo, the Manager of Smart Lab.
“This has been happening for years, and after seeing a gap in the ecosystem on having great startups we researched the reasons why these projects never produce working startups and decided to create Smart Lab to cover the gap and help the right solutions to connect with the market.”
Kayombo and teamwork towards making it possible for innovative talent within Tanzania not to go to waste simply because they lacked funding for their ideas. Smart Lab has remained on the hunt from two fronts; the corporate partners and promising startups. They do not fund startups, but walk them through the process of how to get themselves ready to attract investors.
“We connect them with funders and investors so that they can be prepared to create solutions that corporates need, and also link them with the right partners.
“We ensure that we are strategically selecting startups and solutions that will act as value added services to our corporate and partner network. Our plan is to create programs and models that facilitate startups to success, that will act as a case study to launch into other markets across Africa in 2019.”